What the hell is Nintendo trying to hide in that creepy video of the smiling man?


The fresh trailer for something called Emio is already one of the weirdest things Nintendo has ever done. On Wednesday, the family-friendly game developer released a 15-second trailer that focuses on a spooky mystery man wearing a smiling paper bag mask. It’s disturbing enough that Nintendo has the film was marked as age-restricted and in some countries preceded the trailer with a warning that it “contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing.”

The only thing that appears in this movie, besides the terrifying man in the cloak, is the kanji 笑み男, meaning emio, or “smiling man.”

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Nintendo fans are confused about what Emio is, with some joking that it’s a bold viral marketing campaign for the Switch 2 or speculating that it’s a first-person Nintendo game. Of course, Hideo Kojima’s name is thrown around because teasers are his profession. (Kojima is already taken Death Stranding 2, WITHAND Physicist.)

Outside of the “Luigi’s Mansion” series, which is all about scaring people for laughs, Nintendo rarely dabbles in horror. The most notable examples of Nintendo exploring the genre are M-rated games like Eternal Darkness: Requiem of Common Sense AND Fatal Frame: Blackwater Maidenwhich were developed by third parties and published by Nintendo. Some Nintendo fans have already begun to speculate that Emio could be something fresh from Koei Tecmo’s Fatal Frame team, but there is no solid evidence to support this.

Emio may also be a project of Bloober Team, the developer Silent Hill 2 remake and the Layers of Fear series. Bloober said in 2023 that he was working on a fresh game codenamed Project M with the studio Drawing distance which was developed for Nintendo platforms. Since then, Draw Distance has been removed from this projectwhich is currently being developed by Bloober Team under the Broken Mirror Games subsidiary. This subsidiary has only one social media post, congratulatory message for Nintendo also contains a mysterious artistic concept.

As the Nintendo Switch nears the end of its lifespan, perhaps the folks behind Mario and The Legend of Zelda decided to be a little weird and throw a few curve balls at the console’s aging audience. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to viral marketing, it’s already working.

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